Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Night Off

Do you ever have those days where there's so much to do, but you don't know where to start and so you end up not doing anything at all?

Today is one of those days. 

I could be improving my final papers for English classes. 

I could be studying for German. 

I could be preparing a German presentation on Theodor Strom. 

I could be running. 

I should be getting ready to register for classes at midnight. 

But I'm not going to do anything of those things. Not now.

Instead, I'm going to lay down on my bed, write a blog post, and then listen to music. And maybe read. Yeah, reading sounds good. 

And I'm not going to feel guilty about it. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rise and Shout

Oh, yes.

Sixteen is sweet.

Especially when BYU is in the Sweet Sixteen!!!!!!!!

First time since '81, baby.

It's about time.

Rah, rah, rah, rah, rah! Gooooooooooooo . . . COUGARS!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Year Ago

. . . I went to my first Cambridge prep class.

It was exciting for me, but I had no idea how much the summer in Cambridge would change my life. 

More importantly, I didn't realize how the people I met because of Cambridge would change my life so much.   

Last night, I went to a banquet where Carole Mikita, the religion correspondent for KSL News, spoke. She talked specifically about God opening doors for us, our responsibility to open doors for others, and how God usually opens those doors for us through other people. 

Cambridge was one of those doors God opened for me.  

Thank you, all of you, for being my friend in some way or another. 

Wow. It's amazing the change a year can bring. 

I hope and believe it's for the better. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

3.14159265 . . .

It's Pi Day!

March 14th.


Get it?

I thought you would. :)

On Pi day, I like eating pie. Duh.

So yesterday, my roommate and I made Swedish apple pie. And it's delicious. We also had pumpkin pie. Yum.

Happy Pi(e) Day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Savoring the World

"Every morning I awake torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it. This makes it hard to plan the day. But if we forget to savor the world, what possible reason do we have for saving it? In a way, the savoring must come first." -- E.B. White 

Yes, yes, yes. My thoughts exactly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do You Hear the People Sing?

My roommate showed this to me just the other day:

All Rights Reserved to Cameron Mackintosh Ltd 201

LES MISERABLES! THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY! I must have been in a cave for the last few months to not realize that the DVD was already out. (Okay, yes. I guess I was. The library DOES count as a cave.) 

Let's just say that my roommate and I wasted little time in finding our favorite songs. And singing along. And sometimes critiquing the director/the singers/the actors.

But always, always falling in love over and over again with the music and the story. (Which, by the way, I'm not even going to try to express how I feel about the musical and the book right now, because it would take pages. But if you ask me sometime, I'd be more than happy to talk your ear off.)

Then my roommate bought the DVD. It should be here Monday.

A good thing to have during Midterms Week?

Maybe not.

But maybe. :)

And yes, I know Nick Jonas is Marius in the 25th anniversary. And I don't know how much I like this new  Eponine.

But that doesn't detract from the story and the message.

And did I mention that Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean is incredible?

Listen for yourself. This is a quartet of "Bring Him Home" by four very famous Valjeans, including Colm  Wilkinson, who was the original Jean Valjean.


You have been warned.

All Rights Reserved to Cameron Mackintosh Ltd 201

Um, wasn't that incredible? I get chills every time I listen to it. 

So. You'll know where I'll be Monday: Plopped on the couch, tissues in hand, singing loud, singing strong, the beating of my heart echoing the beating of the drum. 

And thanks, Melissa, for showing this to me. It made my night. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Of Books and Time

When I was about five- or six-years-old, I remember a Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, watching "My Turn on Earth" with my siblings. There's a song toward the end of the musical that talks about how fleeting life is. One line of the song says that there are "stories that you will never hear."

I distinctly remember hearing that line and thinking, in my proud, world-conquering, naive, five-year-old way, "Nu-uh. Maybe they can't read every book in the world, but I will." Yes, my friends, at five-years-old, I was determined to read every book in the world.

And I meant it.

What I don't remember is when I found out that it would be physically IMPOSSIBLE to read every book in the world. Not only would you have to learn every language known to man, but how could you possibly even KNOW how many books there are in the world?

Even eliminating every book in another language, it would still be impossible for me to read every book in the English language.

I am reminded of my childhood goal the other day when I'm in the Harold B. Lee Library.

The Harold B. Lee Library has over 98 miles of shelving for over 6 million items in its collections.

I believe over 3 million of these items are books.

The 5th floor alone overwhelms me with the mountains of information, stories, books, and knowledge there for the taking.

And just like the 5th floor of the library, hearing about and choosing life experiences can be so overwhelming for me. There are so many options--so many good options--that it can be a bit saddening to know that I can never experience every good thing. People tell me about good things that have happened or are happening in their life and I think, "Oh! I want that! I want that experience, too!" And I know that if I went for it, I could have that experience and I would be blessed for it.

But there is only so much time. There is only so much I can do. There are only so many books I can read.

So I guess the challenge is finding the best things for me to do. There is a plan I am following, of course, and I hope that my choices are aligned with what God would have me do. But even then, those choices must be filtered through "good, better, and best."

That's hard to do. It's hard to say no to good experiences. It's hard to realize that I can't read every book in the world.

But I think there is a beauty in wanting it all, too. My five-year-old self still yearns to know it all, to experience it all, to embrace and love the world and sing every song. It is this yearning that encourages me to grow and to keep going on, especially during dark times.

And I hope that I can learn to combine this thirst for life with choosing the best of life. It's no easy task.

But it's one that I'm excited to try.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

God's Grandeur

Basically, I just love Gerard Manley Hopkins. Take a look at this poem:

God's Grandeur 

                                            The world is charged with the grandeur of God. 
                                                It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; 
                                                It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
                                            Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? 
                                            Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; 
                                               And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; 
                                               And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil 
                                            Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. 

                                            And for all this, nature is never spent; 
                                               There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; 
                                            And though the last lights off the black West went
                                               Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward springs-- 
                                            Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
                                              World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings. 

Isn't it beautiful? Can't you just taste the words and feel the power in this poem? 

I sure can. 

We had an in-depth discussion of this poem in my British Literature class today and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I probably loved it a little too much . . . I talked a lot in class today. 

But that's only because poetry like this makes me want to explore ideas, sing arias, and embrace the world.